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Gov. Lamont in process of rolling out vaccine passport for restaurants, businesses

The passport will not be mandatory, but Gov. Lamont said it can be a validation system for store owners.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. Ned Lamont is in the process of testing a digital health card that can be used by restaurants and businesses, all in an effort to keep everyone safe. 

He emphasized this passport would not be mandatory, but restaurant owners have their concerns. 

"I’m doing this so we don’t need mandates. I’m doing this to make sure stores like this and restaurants around the state have the tools they need to keep their customers safe," said Lamont. 

Lamont emphasized the passport would be a good validation system for businesses and restaurants. 

RELATED: Lamont looking to assist businesses seeking proof of customers vaccination

For example, if a customer walked in and it showed they have not been vaccinated, the business owner can make sure their mask is on. 

While some stores have signs at the entrance reminding unvaccinated customers to wear their masks, there is a concern not everyone will follow the rule.

"If people come in here to CVS, they have a right to say 'hey is somebody vaccinated.' We leave it up to the store owners. It’s totally at their discretion and you as an individual don’t have to get the digital health card if you don’t want it," added Lamont. 

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How will this passport work? 

Users would visit the CT Wiz website, enter in your requested information in the blank spaces and click on 'search.' 

It will then bring them to what looks like a digital version of their vaccine card with a QR code on the bottom.

The code can be scanned with a phone and they will automatically be asked if they want to add it to their wallet. 

RELATED: Lamont: No plans for new mandates as COVID cases rise

Essentially, another benefit is not having to carry around a hard copy of their card. 

Scott Dolch with the CT Restaurant Association said while the option is nice, the restaurants are not paying it any mind. 

"I don’t have a whole lot of people that are interested right now and the reason being is restaurants aren’t asking for a vaccine mandate. We’ve seen what’s happened in New York City and Chicago and the challenges when you put policing on the restaurant," said Dolch. 

J Restaurant Bar in Hartford is instead sticking with what has been working for them, which is heated gazebos, customers sitting six feet apart and vaccinated employees. 

RELATED: Lamont considers 'digital health card' to help businesses enforce COVID-19 protocols

"It’s tough enough running a business now and doing what we’re doing, and I think the passport is just going to add that much work to us that we’re really not accustomed to doing. We don’t have the staff to handle it and I certainly don’t want to be confrontational with the guests," said Jordan Dikegoros, owner of J Restaurant Bar. 

Restaurant and business owners have seen more people getting booster shots which they said is enough reassurance. 

More information is expected to be released about this passport next week. More testing will be done and it may officially be rolled out before Christmas. 

RELATED: Push for boosters continues as COVID-19 testing in high demand ahead of holidays

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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